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The rumours in 1857 began to make sense when in the context of the policies pursued by the British from late 1820’s, support your answer with evidence.

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Under the leadership of Governor General Lord William Bentinck, the British adopted policies aimed at “reforming” Indian society by introducing Western education, Western ideas and Western institutions. 

  • With the cooperation of sections of Indian society, they set up Englishmedium schools, colleges and universities which taught Western sciences and the liberal arts. 
  • The British established laws to abolish customs like sati (1829) and to permit the remarriage of Hindu widows. 
  • Annexation of Jhansi and Satara. 
  • Reforming socio- religious customs like land holding, inheritance etc. 

Rumours had an impact on the minds of people under these uncertain times. The common Indians looked at all these things with apprehension and suspicion.